Thursday, December 27, 2012

'Magic Mike': Top 10 Moments Of 2012

From the nudity to the 'penis puppetry,' we look back at our favorite things about the Channing Tatum-led male-stripper movie.
By Kara Warner

Channing Tatum in "Magic Mike"
Photo: Warner Bros.


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Bush spokesman says ex-president's fever rising

HOUSTON (AP) ? A "stubborn" fever that kept former President George H.W. Bush in a hospital over Christmas has gotten worse, and doctors have put him on a liquids-only diet, his spokesman said Wednesday.

Jim McGrath, Bush's spokesman in Houston, had said earlier in the day that the fever had gone away, but he later corrected himself.

"It's an elevated fever, so it's actually gone up in the last day or two," McGrath told The Associated Press. "It's a stubborn fever that won't go away."

Doctors at Methodist Hospital in Houston have run tests and are treating the fever with Tylenol, but they still haven't nailed down a cause, McGrath said. Doctors also have put Bush on a liquid diet, though McGrath could not say why.

The bronchitis-like cough that initially brought Bush to the hospital on Nov. 23 has improved, McGrath said. The 88-year-old is now coughing about once a day, he said.

Bush was visited on Christmas by his wife, Barbara, his son, Neil, and Neil's wife, Maria, and a grandson, McGrath said. Bush's daughter, Dorothy, will arrive Wednesday in Houston from Bethesda, Md. The 41st president has also been visited twice by his sons, George W. Bush, the 43rd president, and Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida.

Bush and his wife live in Houston during the winter and spend their summers at a home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

The former president was a naval aviator in World War II ? at one point the youngest in the Navy ? and was shot down over the Pacific. He achieved notoriety in retirement for skydiving on at least three of his birthdays since leaving the White House in 1992.


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Monday, December 17, 2012

Samuel L. Jackson drops the F-bomb on 'SNL'


Samuel L. Jackson on "Saturday Night Live."

By Anna Chan, TODAY

"Django Unchained" star Samuel L. Jackson caused quite a stir when he appeared on a "Saturday Night Live" this week and dropped what sounded like an F-bomb.

The actor participated in a recurring skit called "What's Up With That," during which he appeared as himself. Kenan Thompson played DeAndre Cole, host of the fake BET show, who couldn't resist interrupting all of his guests by breaking into song. And that was part of the problem.

When Thompson's Cole asked the actor what the holidays meant to him, Jackson began to talk about his foundation, which helps people in need. While the actor tried to remind viewers to give, Cole broke into song again.

"I'm trying to talk about helping people here!" the actor snapped. "So don't you dare cut me off!"

"I won't cut you off, but I've gots to say!" Thompson as Cole started singing ... and continued to belt out a tune with the help of a few other guests for the next few minutes.

When the lengthy interruption finally ended and Cole thanked his guests, an angry Jackson blurted, "Man! %^$#!"

A minorly flustered Thompson replied, "Eh! ... C'mon, Sam! C'mon now! That costs money."

The NBC clip has the word muted:

The actor later denied that he said the whole curse word. "I only said FUH not (expletive)! K was sposed to cut off da (expletive), blew it!!" he tweeted, along with a photo featuring a look of shock on his face.

Clips on YouTube seem to suggest otherwise, though, with the K being audible.

What did you think of the skit? What was your favorite moment of the night? Tell us on our Facebook page.

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Advice And Tips For Dealing With Individual A bankruptcy proceeding

Do not cosign on any sort of financial loan throughout or following your a bankruptcy proceeding. Because you are unable to file for bankruptcy once more for a long time, you will certainly be around the connect for the financial debt in the event the man or woman to whom you are cosigning is not able to fulfill their monetary burden. You want to do whatever you can to maintain your report nice and clean.

You may make positive changes to Chapter 13 individual bankruptcy payments in a few situations. Although your settlement amount is going to be set up for 3 to five-years, when there is a modification of your needs, you just might amend it. A reduction in earnings, like, a pay minimize, or perhaps an abrupt boost in expenditures, including, a medical condition, may possibly allow you to amend your monthly premiums. You just might lessen the payment consequently, or sometimes, suspend your settlement for a certain amount of time.

Usually do not drain your 401K or retirement program, to use the funds to get rid of debt just before filing for bankruptcy. These resources are safeguarded, so that you ought to maintain on them. If you need to, utilize them to take care of the payments for the guaranteed facial lines of credit history on the things you plan to always keep.

Established a spending budget yourself. If you are working with a bankruptcy proceeding, it?s smart to start to get your financial life so as. This will not only display the determine plus your a bankruptcy proceeding trustee that you are currently creating an attempt to change more than a new leaf, this will help to live your post-personal bankruptcy daily life in a better way than you did just before.

Intend north face denali jackets Don?t file for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy in order to prevent real estate foreclosure. You probably will only get short-term reduction if you this due to the fact you?ll need to reaffirm your mortgage loan as a way to undergo with all the individual bankruptcy. In some instances, you could possibly end up losing your home if you apply for this particular a bankruptcy proceeding.

If you reside in the group property state, file bankruptcy collectively with the husband or wife. Your partner is considered liable for 50 % of the obligations incurred throughout the marital life, so the individual could still get harassed by loan companies should you don?t file a joints individual bankruptcy application. When you both data file, even so, you are going to the two be safe from creditors.

After your individual bankruptcy is completed, you must get started re-constructing your credit history by, obtaining clones of the credit studies. Your records may show you declared bankruptcy, but it can take time and effort to the credit history bureaus to get rid of the very first financial debt from your credit track record. Look at the records around extensively, when there is debt demonstrating that had been released in a bankruptcy, you are able to speak to the credit rating bureaus on the internet, or perhaps in composing and ask for how the details be erased.

Inform yourself concerning the personal bankruptcy method. It is possible to improve your expertise in the bankruptcy process by conversing using an individual bankruptcy lawyer or attorney or by performing unbiased study online. Whatever strategy you decided to improve your understanding of the individual bankruptcy procedure, it is crucial that you simply realize how declaring bankruptcy will have an impact on yourself, your loved ones along with your loan companies.

Becoming braced for that most awful achievable benefits will almost certainly permit things movement less difficult along the way through the bankruptcy procedure. The data introduced right here could possibly simplicity any emotional anxiety and anxiety that you will be prone to expertise although dealing with the problems of a bankruptcy proceeding submitting.

You certainly will have an easier lifetime if North Face Accessories are already in them. You can expect to turn out to be profitable in case you have entry to the right info and grow a solid recognizing of them. These brief article over was a fantastic transfer inside the best route and may have your crosshairs targeted at good results.

Related posts:

  1. Advice On Frank Gore Jersey Men and women Thinking of Filing Individual A bankruptcy proceeding
  2. Helpful Advice For Dealing With Individual Personal bankruptcy
  3. Moving The World Clay Matthews Jersey After Proclaiming Individual A bankruptcy proceeding
  4. A bankruptcy proceeding: Tips And Advice To Get Frank Gore Jersey A Whole New Begin
  5. Suggestions And Frank Gore Jersey Hints On Dealing With Your Budget To Prevent A bankruptcy proceeding


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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fed's Stein backs QE3, says policy remains effective

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve should continue buying long-term bonds to support economic growth until the outlook for U.S. employment gets considerably better, Fed Board Governor Jeremy Stein said on Friday.

Stein, who joined the U.S. central bank in May, defended the Fed's unconventional monetary policies on a panel with Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota, who focused his comments on regulating big U.S. banks, arguing that the perceived risk of a failure has receded in recent years.

The Fed has kept short term rates almost at zero for four years and has bought some $2.5 trillion in bonds to drive down longer-term borrowing costs and boost the recovery from recession.

Stein argued that these policies have not only brought down rates on long-term government bonds, but also have made it cheaper for corporations to borrow in capital markets.

"While this is not entirely uncontroversial, my own reading of the evidence is that there has also been substantial pass-through to corporate bond rates," Stein, who was a Harvard finance professor before joining the Fed, said at a conference hosted by the Boston Fed bank.

He estimated an additional $500 billion on Treasury purchases would lower long-term bond rates in the government and corporate markets by around 0.15-0.20 percentage point.

The effectiveness of the "pass-through" of the Fed's aggressive policies have been a hot topic since the central bank launched a third quantitative easing program in September, dubbed QE3, to buy $40 billion in mortgage bonds per month. Policymakers could decide to ramp that up when they meet in Washington on December 11-12.

While some have bemoaned the very incremental reduction in rates on home loans since QE3, others such as Stein and Kocherlakota, argue that every bit of support from the Fed helps in spurring economic growth and lowering the 7.9 percent unemployment rate.

Stein expressed frustration with the "constraint" lenders are showing in, for example, issuing mortgage loans.

He admitted that the impact of purchasing assets tends to diminish over time because, in a weak economic environment, companies opt to lower their funding costs by refinancing rather than make new investments.

Still, Stein argued the Fed's strategy of buying mortgage-backed securities was particularly effective in helping the housing finance sector.

"I suspect that mortgage purchases may confer more macroeconomic stimulus dollar-for-dollar than Treasury purchases," Stein said.

The U.S. economy expanded 2.7 percent in the third quarter, but growth is expected to be significantly slower for the last three months of the year. Consumer spending posted its first drop in five months during October, according to a report on Friday.


Turning to the Fed's other key function, financial regulation, Kocherlakota highlighted that studies using measures of market risk, including credit default swaps, show "that the size of the too-big-to-fail problem has fallen over the past couple of years but remains large."

While the perceived risk of a big U.S. bank failure has receded, more study is needed to understand whether the improvement is due to government policies or simply an improved economic outlook.

For any given financial institution "it could be that creditors believe that there is little likelihood of that financial institution becoming distressed" perhaps because new rules require banks to put up more capital, Kocherlakota said.

It could also be that creditors believe a government bailout is unlikely, suggesting that other policies - such as the requirement banks devise blueprints for a wind-down should they become insolvent - are working.

But metrics could be improving "simply because creditors' assessments of future macroeconomic conditions improve," he said.

Teasing apart the reasons for the improvement in the too-big-to-fail problem is key to understanding whether approaches like those enshrined in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform act are having the intended effect, Kocherlakota said.

The wide-ranging law, written in response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis, aims to reduce the likelihood of banks failing and to lessen the cost to society if they do.

Kocherlakota has urged the Fed to adopt guideposts for policy in terms of unemployment and inflation, and on Friday reiterated his view that without such metrics "it is challenging to know whether monetary policy is overly accommodative or not."

The same point can be made for the too-big-to-fail bank problem, which Congress has set out to resolve.

"The public can only hold Congress and its (delegates) responsible for achieving this mandate if there are quantitative measures of the size of the too-big-to-fail problem," he added.

(Additional writing and reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa and Ann Saphir. Editing by Andre Grenon)


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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Stuff your stocking with Android Central!

Android Central Stocking StuffersChristmas. Chanukah. Kwanza. Festivus. No matter what you celebrate, December tends to be the month for giving. That goes for us, too, believe it or not. We might occasionally seem like Grinches on the outside, but come the end of the year we come down from Mount Crumpit and descend into Whoville with nothing but the best of intentions to spread Android joy and cheer amongst all the good little boys and girls.

And that brings us to our little helper here on the left. See what she's holding? That'd be a $10 Google Play Gift Card. We've got a stack full of these guys, and every last one is for you. Now doesn't that sound special?

Here's how it's going to work: We're going to give away one card every day this month. We're not stopping at Christmas, oh, no. We're gonna keep going, straight on through Phil's birthday (there's a not so subtle hint) and into New Year's Eve the following day. That's one $10 Google Play Gift Card each day this month.

Plus, each daily winner is going to be eligible to win a free Nexus 4 from us.

Wanna know how to enter?

read more


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Thursday, November 8, 2012

How to Stop Your Smartphone from Secretly Wasting Data in the Background

How to Stop Your Smartphone from Secretly Wasting Data in the BackgroundUnlimited data plans are an endangered species nowadays, so most of us have to watch our limits in order to avoid excess charges on our bill. That's easy enough when we know how much cellular data we're using on our smartphones, but becomes problematic when our smartphones eat up our precious megabytes in the background. This doesn't just happen on Android, but iPhone, too. Here's how to stop it.

Recently, a friend asked me for help when he reached 90% of his data usage despite barely using any data. I thought this was surprising because he has an iPhone and iPhones aren't allowed to do a whole lot in the background. Despite these limitations, apps can still do a fair amount of downloading when they're not open and regardless of how they're connected to the internet. In short, you could end up going over your data limits easily without even knowing it, regardless of whether you're on Android or iPhone. In this post we're going to look at how to figure out which apps are eating your data unnecessarily and how to stop them. On Android it's pretty simple, but for iPhone you need to do a little detective work.

How to Stop Your Smartphone from Secretly Wasting Data in the Background


Tracking which apps use your data is pretty simple. Just install My Data Manager (Free) and allow it to track the data your apps use. At any time, you can open up Data Manager and take a look at how many megabytes (or gigabytes) any app is using. If anything is sucking your data plan dry, make sure that app isn't running in the background (or just delete it from your phone altogether). Solving the problem is easy so long as you know which app is using up all of your data.


On an iPhone, you can't track exactly which apps are using your data unless you're jailbroken. If you are, you can grab iNetUsage ($2) from Cydia and monitor the breakdown. If not, you need to conduct an investigation and find the culprit(s) with some trial and error. Let's go over a few methods.

Ensure Wi-Fi Is Actually Enabled

How to Stop Your Smartphone from Secretly Wasting Data in the BackgroundSometimes high data usage happens because you turned off Wi-Fi and just forgot. When my internet access goes down, I often do this and forget to turn it back on for a week. Fortunately I just don't use that much data in general, but if I did it could turn into a major problem. Before you spend a bunch of your time investigating the problem, make sure your data settings are actually correct.

Look at the Apps that Use the Most Battery

How to Stop Your Smartphone from Secretly Wasting Data in the BackgroundOn an iPhone, if an app is draining your battery it has a better chance of eating up your data plan as well. Battery-sucking apps run in the background, and there are only a few things background apps can do on an iPhone: use the GPS, play music, and download files. While apps that download files might seem like guilty party, iOS only allows background downloading for a short amount of time. If the app isn't open on your phone, iOS will shut off its download privileges after about 10 minutes. As a result, you're probably aware of when an app is downloading something in the background.

You're more likely to run into wasted data when you leave a music or location-aware app open in the background. Music apps can play indefinitely, and if they're streaming that music you can use a lot of data simply by forgetting to stop playback. Location-aware apps use your GPS and may need to download data relevant to that GPS. While it's unlikely that they're constantly grabbing new data (e.g. maps or location-based photos), you want to be sure these kind of apps aren't accessing your location without your knowledge. Fortunately, this is very easy to do. Simply go into the Settings app on your iPhone, tap Privacy (in iOS 6, Location Services in earlier versions), then tap Location Services, and peruse the list of apps. Most apps will just have an ON and OFF switch, but some will have a purple solid, purple outline, or gray solid arrow next to them. A purple arrow means the app has used your location recently, a gray arrow indicates the app has used your location in the last 24 hours, and a purple outline arrow indicates the app is using a geofence (meaning that it's waiting to carry out an event when you're in a certain location, like when the Reminders app provides a location-based reminder). The purple solid and outline arrows are the ones that cause the most trouble, so if you see them, try quitting those apps to see if your data usage decreases.

Check Your Bill

How to Stop Your Smartphone from Secretly Wasting Data in the BackgroundMost cellular providers keep detailed records of your data usage, even if it's only temporary. Whether or not your bill will retain enough detail to tell you what you were doing with that data is another story, but it will tell you how much you used on a specific day and time. In the event you forgot about a large download, or you retrieved a lot of data that you thought was over Wi-Fi, you may be able to pinpoint the cause by knowing exactly when it happened.

Additionally, you may be able to find out more detailed information by calling your cellular provider directly. They may have access to more information than you, and they may be able to add something called "detailed billing" to your plan. This service often costs money but provides additional information about your data usage so you know what's going on. That said, signing up for this service means you're paying your provider to keep a record of what you do on your smartphone that they may retain longer than the data they already keep about you. Consider whether that matters to you before signing up.

Employ a Data Monitoring App and Use It Strategically

How to Stop Your Smartphone from Secretly Wasting Data in the BackgroundIf you'd prefer to avoid your cellular provider, you can also use a data monitoring app to keep an eye on your overall usage. This won't tell you which app is causing trouble, but it will tell you when a lot of data was used. Just like you can with your bill (as discussed in the previous section), you can use the date and time information to try and pinpoint what happened when large amounts of data was consumed. Sure, this isn't a definitive method but it might help you zero in on the culprit(s).

Call Your Cellular Provider

Wasted data may not be your fault?it may be an error on the part of your provider. Don't just assume it's your fault. Chances are you did use the data, but sometimes mistakes happen (nobody's perfect, after all). If you've looked around and something seems a little fishy, call your provider and ask. There may be an error and you may be in the clear.


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THE MINSTREL'S GHOST The Road To Avalon music review by ...

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In uptown Manhattan, storm leaves a hanging crane and minor damage

The damaged crane, part of construction on the One57 building, on West 57th Street (Allison Joyce/Getty Images??

Monday's giant storm inflicted the greatest damage on the lower half of New York City, but uptown, on West 57th Street, a massive, dangling crane is drawing crowds.

At a thousand feet above the ground, the 80-ton swing arm dangles next to the tallest condominium under construction in the city, located between 6th and 7th avenues. Bovis Lend Lease, the company managing the building's construction, is waiting for the last winds to die down before it scoops up the hanging hulk of metal.

"All I'm doing today is watching that crane," said a company employee, who asked not to be named. Wearing a muddied yellow raincoat, he leaned against a nearby shop on the corner of 56th Street, on standby.

"The only reason they haven't taken it down is because of the winds," he said. "Once they die down, they'll rig it up from the air. Right now it's no danger."

His remarks echoed the statement of the tower's developer, Gary Barnett, who told Crain's New York Business, "Everything that can be done is being done." In the meantime, metal gates and police tape block off access to the surrounding areas, as crowds of people stand along 57th Street and 5th Avenue taking photos and chattering as the crane's arm sways in the wind.

The crane is the most conspicuous damage up here resulting from the storm, but nearby, more destruction can be seen: On a building at the corner of Park Avenue and 59th Street, the facade of one floor about 20 stories up tumbled down during the storm, leaving a mass of debris on the now closed-off section below.

But for most who live around here, the most common word to describe the storm has been "boring." There have been few power outages, and the worst symptoms of the storm have been the gusts of wind. In nearby pubs like the Carriage House on 59th Street, people are hanging out, glancing at the images on TV of? more serious disorientation in lower Manhattan.

"It's honestly been a little boring," said Alana, who lives a few blocks away by the U.N. headquarters. She said she's chiefly been preoccupied with taking in her friend from Brooklyn, where winds were felt as early as Sunday night. "No power out, I've still got Internet. It hasn't been very exciting."

Others living uptown have also concentrated chiefly on coming to the aid of their friends, and checking on their work spaces downtown.

"I'm at a small tech company in Union Square, so I swung by to check on any leaking or flooding," says Brian, playing darts with a friend at the Carriage House. "Otherwise, it's mainly been working from home and helping out the people I know."


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Monday, October 29, 2012

Restaurant review: Hopdoddy Burger Bar | Advocate Magazine

IMG 1354 150x150 Restaurant review: Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Hopdoddy Burger Bar?s basic $6 burger and $4.75 large order of fries.

No, it?s not in the neighborhood, but it?s close enough for a 15-minute road trip if you?re looking to try a new place.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar is an Austin transplant, and the Preston Center location is the chain?s first in Dallas.

It?s organized a bit differently than any other place I?ve been in Dallas. First, you line up to order. While you?re in line (assuming there?s a line, which there was the night we visited), a hostess assigns a seat for you; no worrying about standing there with a tray of food and no place to sit.

The ordering process is pretty basic, although the menu is limited primarily to burgers. But no worries ? the burger is good enough that you?ll be thinking about it even after you?ve finished. Even though the meat was cooked ?medium? according to the order-taker, it wasn?t pink inside but it was incredibly juicy and tasty. The basic burger starts at $6, and like every premium burger place, you can add stuff on or select some of the pre-packaged options and spend more. The fries are suspiciously good, too: Even after sitting on the wrapping paper for 30 minutes, there was nary a drop of grease on the paper, if that tells you anything.

There?s a good-sized bar with surround-seating in the place, and an awful lot of locally brewed beers are served (two from Deep Ellum and two from Lakewood caught my eye). You?ll also find shakes and a large variety of natural, no-name soft drinks, as well as as the one standard brand just about everyone has to serve these days ? Diet Coke.

In short, you can get in and out of there with two burgers, an order of fries and two soft drinks for a bit more than $20, pretty standard for Dallas upper-end burger places. But if you like burgers, I think you?ll like this place. (Click on the photos for a larger, more savory view.)


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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fed Beige Book-St. Louis: Econ Activity Expanded Moderately ...

WASHINGTON (MNI) ? The following is the latest Beige Book survey of
economic conditions in the Federal Reserve?s Eighth District, published

Eighth District ? St. Louis


Economic activity in the Eighth District has expanded at a moderate
pace since our previous survey. Recent reports of planned activity from
manufacturing and services contacts have been positive. Residential real
estate market conditions have continued to improve moderately, while
commercial and industrial real estate market conditions have continued
to be mixed. Overall lending activity at a sample of small and mid-sized
District banks increased slightly from mid-June to early September.
Agricultural conditions in the District have generally improved since
our previous report.

Manufacturing and Other Business Activity

Reports of plans for manufacturing activity have been positive
since our previous report. Several manufacturers reported plans to hire
new employees, open new plants, or expand operations, while fewer
manufacturers reported plans to lay off workers or close plants. Firms
in poultry processing, furniture, commercial printing, boat, conveyor
equipment, HVAC equipment, and industrial gas manufacturing plan to hire
new workers, open new facilities, or expand current operations. In
contrast, firms that manufacture iron and steel products, mining
equipment, and food products plan to lay off workers or close existing

Reports of planned activity in the District?s service sector have
been positive since our previous report. Firms in business support,
distribution, healthcare technology, and personal care reported plans to
hire new workers or expand operations. A transportation services firm
also announced large-scale hiring plans for seasonal employees recently.
In contrast, a financial services firm announced plans to relocate
workers to a new location outside the District. Lastly, auto dealers in
certain parts of the District reported weak hybrid vehicle sales.

Real Estate and Construction

Home sales increased throughout most of the Eighth District on a
year-over-year basis. Compared with the same period in 2011, August 2012
year-to-date home sales were up 15 percent in Louisville, 6 percent in
Little Rock, 11 percent in Memphis, and 17 percent in St. Louis.
Residential construction increased in the majority of the District.
August 2012 year-to-date single-family housing permits increased in the
majority of the District metro areas compared with the same period in
2011. Permits increased 41 percent in Louisville, 27 percent in Little
Rock, 39 percent in Memphis, and 17 percent in St. Louis.

Commercial and industrial real estate conditions were mixed
throughout most of the District. A contact reported that apartment
occupancy rates in northwest Arkansas remained high in Rogers,
Bentonville, Fayetteville, and Springdale and strong multi-family real
estate activity is expected in the second half of 2012. A contact in
Louisville reported that office leasing activity declined in the central
business district, while it remained strong in the suburban area. A
contact in Memphis reported that industrial real estate activity has
improved. Commercial and industrial construction activity improved
throughout most of the District. A contact in Little Rock reported
several new office building construction projects in the Fayetteville
metropolitan area. A contact in Louisville reported that with demand for
multi-family units remaining strong, plans for apartment construction
continued to increase. A contact reported new mixed-use development
plans in the Memphis metropolitan area.

Banking and Finance

Total loans outstanding at a sample of small and mid-sized District
banks increased 1.4 percent from mid-June to early September. Real
estate lending, which accounts for 73.3 percent of total loans,
increased 0.2 percent. Commercial and industrial loans, accounting for
15.8 percent of total loans, increased 1 percent. Loans to individuals,
accounting for 4.7 percent of total loans, increased 2.5 percent. All
other loans, accounting for 6.2 percent of total loans, increased 16.4
percent. During this period, total deposits at these banks increased 0.2

Agriculture and Natural Resources

The condition of pastureland in the Eighth District has improved
significantly from early August to late September. Excluding
Mississippi, where 97 percent of pastureland was already rated as fair
or better, the fraction of pastureland in fair or better condition has
increased by at least 20 percentage points in all District states. The
share of crops in fair or better condition has similarly increased
across the District, although the condition of the corn crop remains
relatively unchanged. Harvest completion rates have outpaced their
5-year averages for almost all crops in all District states. In
particular, harvest completion rates for corn and rice are on average 30
percentage points ahead of their 5-year averages. Total year-to-date
coal production in the states comprising the District, with the
exception of eastern Kentucky, was 9 percent higher through the end of
August than it was in the first eight months of 2011. August production,
however, was 6.8 percent lower than in August 2011.

** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **



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Suomi NPP satellite sees auroras over North America

ScienceDaily (Oct. 10, 2012) ? Overnight on October 4-5, 2012, a mass of energetic particles from the atmosphere of the Sun were flung out into space, a phenomenon known as a coronal mass ejection. Three days later, the storm from the Sun stirred up the magnetic field around Earth and produced gorgeous displays of northern lights. NASA satellites track such storms from their origin to their crossing of interplanetary space to their arrival in the atmosphere of Earth.

Using the "day-night band" (DNB) of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite acquired this view of the aurora borealis early on the morning of October 8, 2012. The northern lights stretch across Canada's Quebec and Ontario provinces in the image, and are part of the auroral oval that expanded to middle latitudes because of a geomagnetic storm.

The DNB sensor detects dim light signals such as auroras, airglow, gas flares, city lights, and reflected moonlight. In the case of the image above, the sensor detected the visible light emissions as energetic particles rained down from Earth's magnetosphere and into the gases of the upper atmosphere. The images are similar to those collected by the Operational Linescan System flown on U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites for the past three decades.

"When I first saw images like this as a graduate student, I was immediately struck by the fluid dynamic characteristics of the aurora," said Tom Moore, a space physicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "Viewing the aurora in this way makes it immediately clear that space weather is an interaction of fluids from the Sun with those of Earth's upper atmosphere. The electrodynamics make for important differences between plasmas and ordinary fluids, but familiar behaviors (for example, waves and vortices) are still very apparent. It makes me wonder at the ability of apparently empty space to behave like a fluid."

Auroras typically occur when solar flares and coronal mass ejections -- or even an active solar wind stream -- disturb and distort the magnetosphere, the cocoon of space protected by Earth's magnetic field. The collision of solar particles and pressure into our planet's magnetosphere accelerates particles trapped in the space around Earth (such as in the radiation belts). Those particles are sent crashing down into Earth's upper atmosphere -- at altitudes of 100 to 400 kilometers (60 to 250 miles) -- where they excite oxygen and nitrogen molecules and release photons of light. The results are rays, sheets, and curtains of dancing light in the sky.

Auroras are a beautiful expression of the connection between Sun and Earth, but not all of the connections are benign. Auroras are connected to geomagnetic storms, which can distort radio communications (particularly high frequencies), disrupt electric power systems on the ground, and give slight but detectable doses of radiation to flight crews and passengers on high-latitude airplane flights and on spacecraft.

The advantage of images like those from VIIRS and DMSP is resolution, according to space physicist Patrick Newell of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. "You can see very fine detail in the aurora because of the low altitude and the high resolution of the camera," he said. Most aurora scientists prefer to use images from missions dedicated to aurora studies (such as Polar, IMAGE, and ground-based imagers), which can offer many more images of a storm (rather than one per orbit) and can allow researchers to calculate the energy moving through the atmosphere. There are no science satellites flying right now that provide such a view, though astronauts regularly photograph and film auroras from the International Space Station.

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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.

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Design Project Part Two: Interpretation | Angela K. Johnson

I began conceiving of this project in a former post by sharing what I do and do not know about my design dilemma:?how to share the Socratic Seminar method with fellow educators, beginning with a one-hour introductory presentation. This phase began with an effort to address what I did not know, so in this post I?ll?discuss and interpret what I have learned. The issues are repeated below in bold type, and my research findings and interpretation follows.

1) How will I get quality videotape of the sessions I do?

I tried two methods for getting videotape?videocamera and Flipcam, and I?m not sure either one provided great clips, but a variety of student behaviors were recorded that could, I think, provide evidence of each skill. For one session I had a person available to work the videocamera, so clips from that day follow the conversation from student to student. I have compiled below a list of the desired behaviors the videos show. While the audio is low in some cases, I think my being miked and frequently paraphrasing or following up comments the students made helps to follow the conversation. One solution is to include subtitles in portions of the film that are difficult to hear, which will not be difficult in imovie.

2) How will I (or should I) edit video from several sessions to show what I need people to see to understand the power of the method?

I think I?ll need to splice video from a number of different sessions, though in some cases I?ll want to present two clips of the same class side by side to show a contrast or a progression.

I think it would be most effective to present the skills in roughly three sets: process skills, cognitive skills, and metacognitive skills. These skills also align well with the natural progression of a seminar, so they work chronologically as well.

Process skills will include skills such as taking turns, speaking up, listening attentively, involving everyone. Cognitive skills would follow: citing evidence, social construction of meaning through dialogue, group questioning, and summary of collective understanding. I would conclude with Metacognitive skills: individual self-assessment and goal-setting, group self-assessment and goal-setting, highlights of what worked, suggestions for improvement. The following chart lists skills in progressive order on the left and specific video clips that would show those skills on the right.

Skill Demonstrated by Students Specific Clips Highlighting Skill
1. the ability to share the conversation by taking turns Clips (2 back to back?) showing students yielding the conversation to one another, as in ?You can go first? or ?Oh sorry, I?ll wait.?
2. the ability to assert themselves in a large group setting Clip of students who rarely speak voicing an opinion.
3. the ability to involve others, by asking for the opinions of classmates who are more reticent Clip of student saying, ?What do you think, x??
4. the ability to refer to the text for evidence Clip of students citing specific lines, especially two in disagreement using those to support their assertions.
5. the ability to disagree and question each other?s assertions respectfully Clip of student saying, ?I disagree with x because??
6. the ability (of some) to build on the ideas of others over the course of the seminar Clip of students referring to what someone else said, as in ?I think x may be right because?? or ?I agree, because it also says that??
7. the ability (of some) to forward the conversation by asking relevant and authentic questions of the group Clip of student saying, ?I have a question: I wonder if anyone thinks??
8. the ability to move from limited to more complex understanding of a text as a collective group Clip of a person with contrasting thoughts at beginning and end of seminar, as in a sequence where ?I think ? because?? turns into a different interpretation: ?well, then, maybe ??
9. the ability to reflect metacognitively on the group?s performance and their level of success in sustaining meaningful conversation Clip of round robin at end of session where students discuss self-rating.
11. the ability to suggest and apply specific methods for personal or group performance improvement Clip of round robin recommendations for future performance: ?I think it would help us if we would??
11. the ability to reflect metacognitively on their individual performance and participation Slide of student self-eval sheets with goals for next seminar and written self-eval.

3) How will I divide up an hour session to include everything I need to convey adequately and effectively?

An hour isn?t much time, so I won?t really be able to TEACH people how to do this. What?s more important is to convince them of the power of the method and provide basic tools for starting. The specific skills and strategies for conducting a seminar are, in large part, learned by practicing. So, I need to motivate people to try and I need to make it easy to start. Then, perhaps in a web site, I can provide support for later challenges along the way. And it will be important to reiterate that this is a PROCESS which takes time to learn?risk taking is essential, and there WILL be times when the process feels like it isn?t working, but THAT?S PART OF THE PROCESS.

4) How will I gather and organize resources for supporting teachers?everything from how to teach kids the method, how to choose a text, how to choose a question, how to troubleshoot when the discussion isn?t working, how to help students who have difficulty, how to assess students, how to progress the group from one level to the next, how to deal with large classes, and much more?

These need to be presented in an organized way, available to teachers indefinitely into the future, and should be constantly evolving. Teachers need the basics that are essential for starting the process.???These would include the following.

1. rules of the process

2. physical setup, also for large classes

3. texts to start, and rules for choosing texts in progression

4. lists of possible questions to choose from for a variety of texts

5. basic troubleshooting for early sessions

6. assessment in early and secondary stages-round robin, goal-setting, tiers

7. moving up the expectations?

The Next Steps

These are steps I need to accomplish in the next phase of the project:

1. Review all video and make notes of sections that fulfill the criteria above?clips that will effectively show what I need to show. Order and organize these according to chart above.

2. Compile a list of questions that are good options for seminar starters. I have collected a list from the training I attended many years ago as well as lists from a couple of web sites about Socratic Seminars. I?ll take those questions and perhaps divide them up in categories depending on the type of text for which they can best be applied?so, for example, questions for fiction, for nonfiction, for video, for images, etc.

3. Compile the basic essential information a teacher needs to start seminars. This would include the rules of the process, the physical setup of the room, the basic elements of a seminar.

4. Compile a troubleshooting list in progression from problems likely to be seen in the earliest seminar attempts to those that will emerge as students continue in their development. I think this may be most useful in chart format, in which the problem is listed in the left column and the exact words a teacher may say to address that problem when it arises are in the right column.

5.?Compile a tiered progression of evaluation tools, from round robin verbal-only to early paper evals, to goal-setting based on those, and evaluation based on extent to which goals are met. This would also include the progression of tiered goals through which students must work.

The Presentation

I envision the presentation as scaffolded by video clips showing the progression of student behaviors. These might be divided by Ken Burns-style title screens with the skill in bold letters and the clips following them. These should include contrast between the earliest attempts and the most successful moments near the end?I want to leave people with a vision of what can be accomplished. Many of the resources listed above can be made available on a website, but I?ll need to give the audience a taste for these (with linked references) as the presentation progresses so they understand the importance of going back to find the resources. I?m thinking one slide per type of references, with an example or two and then a link to the full list.

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Ashley Cole charged by FA for vulgar tweet

Associated Press Sports

updated 9:13 a.m. ET Oct. 8, 2012

LONDON (AP) -Chelsea defender Ashley Cole was charged by England's Football Association with misconduct Monday after criticizing the governing body in a vulgar Twitter post, adding to the fallout from a yearlong racism case involving teammate John Terry.

The England left back reacted angrily Friday after an FA commission questioned the evidence he gave in defending Terry against a charge of racially abusing an opponent.

The FA said the charge relates "to a Twitter comment which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute."

Cole, who faces a fine, has until Thursday to respond to the charge. He has already issued an apology through his lawyers and deleted the tweet, which read: "Hahahahaa, well done (hash)fa I lied did I," followed by a vulgar expression.

Chelsea is also set to fine Cole, with manager Roberto Di Matteo saying the club has launched disciplinary action over the tweet.

Cole is currently on national-team duty with England ahead of World Cup qualifiers against San Marino on Friday and Poland next Tuesday. If he plays in both games, he will become the sixth player to make 100 appearances for England.

He backed up Terry's defense that a racial slur toward Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League match in October last year was only used to counter an accusation of racism Terry claimed Ferdinand was leveling at him.

Cole told Terry's criminal trial in July that he believed he heard Ferdinand use the word "black" during the confrontation - something the QPR player denied saying. Terry was cleared of the criminal charges but found guilty by the FA commission.

In its written judgment released Friday, the commission said Cole did not mention the word "black" in the initial interview with them after the match and accused him of evolving his evidence.

He is the second player to face an FA charge for tweeting about Terry's racism case. Rio Ferdinand was previously fined 45,000 pounds (then $71,000) after being found guilty of referencing ethic origin and race when he re-tweeted a user's comment that referred to Cole as a "choc ice," a slang term perceived as meaning black on the outside and white on the inside.

? 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


More news
Finally! Messi, Ronaldo each score 2

PST: Even if they aren?t Ali-Frazier or Magic-Bird rivals, their stature in world soccer makes discussion inevitable. That will reach a new level after Sunday?s theatrics in Barcelona.

Messi, Ronaldo restore dignity to Barca vs. Madrid

??BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -The meetings between Barcelona and Real Madrid had become less and less about football lately, dominated instead by sideshows centered on ugly accusations, red cards and infamous eye pokes.


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Monday, October 8, 2012

Different degrees of addiction - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug ...

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Old Today, 02:31 AM ? #1 (permalink)



Join Date: Jun 2012

Posts: 208

Different degrees of addiction

Do you think there are degrees of addiction?? For example, H was in rehab over a year ago for cocaine addiction. 'Clean' for almost a year. Then relapsed about 4 months ago - he says only a few times using cocaine again - but now smoking hash daily. He arrived at my house last week (first real contact in 4 months - since he screamed at me to 'get the hell out of his life") . He did/said all the things I was warned about on SR. Declared his undying love; Promised he would never hurt my like that again; Said he screamed at me as he was trying to push me away as didn't want to hurt me; felt such shame; blah blah blah
The frightening thing is if it weren't for SR - I would have listened, and probably reasoned with myself that 'well as long as he is not using cocaine then it's okay' (Dear God where was my mind)....
But the question is - 'even though' he claims he is not using cocaine and 'only' smoking some hash' - is the nature of his addiction stil the same - would it be at that same dangerous, destructive level, it was when he went into rehab for cocaine???
He was in therapy (intensive) for 4 months - is it at all possible that he has not comletely 'relapsed' in the sense of his thinking and daily routine?
Or is he as sick as he was on cocaine? But just without the aggressive more 'obvious' signs of addiction when on cocaine??

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Old Today, 02:40 AM ? #2 (permalink)



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I think that addiction is all the same iam alcoholic but I know that if I start doing anything else that alters my state of mind I will eventfully get hooked it's my character. Obviously the drug of choice relates to behaviours for instance if I was hooked on cholocate cakes that's still self destructive but less destructive to my family than say alcohol or heroin. My point is that in order to be recovered we must be totally sober from any forms of mind altering substances! No levels of addictions one hole that we are all slipping down some are closer to the bottom than others, but it all heads to the same place... Hell.

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Old Today, 04:24 AM ? #3 (permalink)

Happy Thanksgiving Canada


Join Date: Mar 2002

Location: By The Lake

Posts: 27,559

Addiction is a progressive disease, it gets worse over time. Most active addicts I know who "cut back" to pot or beer or whatever their cut back drug was, were either lying or just putting in time until they were right back into their own drug of choice.

It doesn't get better until they stop. And they don't stop until they have tried everything possible to keep using, hoping nobody will notice...some die trying.

There are no "good drugs" or better than other drugs. They are all bad, they all take addiction to a dark and scary place, and they all lead to jails, institutions or death.


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Old Today, 05:15 AM ? #5 (permalink)

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He is using. He is a drug addict. Does not matter what mind altering
chemical it is he is NOT clean and sober. He Is Using!!!!

The only improvement for addiction is abstinence. He is not abstinent!

You are doing great, keep moving forward!!!!!

Love and hugs,


God Bless You All As You Trudge The Road
Of Happy Destiny (especially when you are
tridgin thru alligators up to your butt)
Sobriety: AA June 7, 1981
Codependency: Alanon June 7, 1984

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Old Today, 09:12 AM ? #6 (permalink)

The sun still shines


Join Date: Mar 2010

Posts: 299

It took me years of smoking cigarettes before I was fully addicted, but once addicted, even when I gave up I went right back to the same level of addiction I was at when I stopped. This was even the case when I gave up for 5 years. I believe other addictions work in the same way. Once you go down that slippery slope there is no stopping it.

If your happiness depends on your children being happy, that makes them your hostages. So stay out of their business, stop using them for your happiness, and be your own happiness. That way you are the teacher for your children: someone who knows how to live a happy life

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Old Today, 10:57 AM ? #8 (permalink)

Go O's!!


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Posts: 3,032

Different drugs present themselves in various ways. But whether the associated behavior is violent, lying, cheating, stealing, nodding, depressed, manic, suicidal, sexual, non-sexual, or even just not participating in daily life or not meeting adult responsibilities?to me it is UNACCEPTABLE and I will not allow that in my life, nor settle for crumbs.

Nice words aren't always true.
True words aren't always nice.

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Old Today, 05:45 PM ? #9 (permalink)

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I believe that there are "stages" of addiction very much like there are stages of cancer. Initially, it may not be noticed or simply referred to as someone who "likes to have fun". It progresses to having a few relationship problems or some issues with school or work. It continues to progress until it takes over an individual's life and becomes the focus of their existance. At least, this is what I have witnessed with my son's addiction.

It's progressive. You can't be considered in remission from cancer if you still have it "a little bit". Addiction is all or nothing. Either a person is using or they aren't.....they can't be "sort of using"........not when addiction is involved. In fact, most addicts, in their attempt to control that which they cannot control, go through a phase (one or many times) of trying to cut back or change the drug of choice to something they consider more acceptable (beer, pot, hash, etc.). These are the lies they tell themselves (and us) that keeps them (and us) in the cycle of addiction (and codependency).

But because it is progressive, they can't move backwards.....only forward in their addiction......or they can arrest it through abstinence (and hopefully recovery) to keep it from progressing.

Addiction is ugly. Addiction is tricky. Addiction causes addicts to lie to other people......but the worst lies are the lies they tell themselves.

gentle hugs

"The essence of bravery is being without self-deception." ~ Pema Chodron

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UK shares falls on earnings, growth concerns

* FTSE 100 index falls 0.7 percent

* Concerns about growth, Q3 earnings hit sentiment

* Growth-linked sectors suffer; banks, miners slide

* Technical factors suggest room for a bounceback

LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Britain's top share index fell on

Monday as concerns about the looming third quarter earnings

season and the global economic outlook hurt growth-linked

sectors like banking and mining.

Analysts said the FTSE 100, down 0.7 percent at

5,828.88 by 1119 GMT. could fall 2-3 percent more in the near

term, with sentiment dented by a cut in the World Bank's growth

forecasts for the East Asia and Pacific region.

But a likely aid request from Spain and hoped-for clarity on

U.S. spending cuts and tax rises could improve the mood, and

technical factors suggested the market could thereafter bounce


The World Bank also said there was a risk the slowdown in

the world's biggest metals consumer China could worsen,

triggering a sharp sell-off in UK mining stocks.

The mining index fell 1.4 percent.

"The World Bank's downgrade is another indication of the

various concerns ... which are likely to be reflected in the

earnings results," Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin

Dolphin, said.

The market was vulnerable to profit taking and could give up

another 100-150 points before recovering, he said.

Analysts said earnings estimates had been cut over recent

weeks, led by energy and materials firms and economically

sensitive sectors such as financials.

The UK banking index was down 1.4 percent,

pressured by Standard Chartered, Barclays and

Royal Bank of Scotland, down 1.9 to 2.3 percent ahead of

the results season that starts with U.S. aluminium firm Alcoa

on Tuesday.

According to Thomson Reuters data, earnings for the U.S. S&P

500 companies are forecast to have fallen 2.4 percent

from a year earlier, the first drop in three years. The earnings

season in Europe will pick up in the second half of October.

Cookson Group, which makes products for the global

steel industry, and recruiter Michael Page on Monday

became the latest UK firms to issue profit warnings. Cookson

fell 13.7 percent while Michael Page shed 1.3 percent.

BAE Systems fell 1 percent after its largest

shareholder issued a long list of objections to the group's

proposed $45 billion merger with EADS.


Charts showed that the FTSE 100 index's medium-term outlook

remained good. The index is up 4.6 percent so far this year and

has advanced more than 11 percent since hitting a low in June.

"I remain relatively positive as the four-and-a-half-month

uptrend is still intact," Dominic Hawker, technical analyst at

Westhouse Securities, said.

He said that it was encouraging that the index still traded

above its uptrend line, now at around 5,750 and which could

prove to offer strong support. The index faced a tough

resistance at around 6,000 points, its 2012 high.

Analysts said UK equities had become expensive following

recent price moves, but were still relatively attractive.

According to Thomson Reuters Datastream, the FTSE 100 index

traded at 10.7 times its one-year forward earnings, up from 6.6

times in October 2008 but below its 10-year average of 11.5.

"Stocks are not dirt cheap, but valuations are still OK and

wouldn't be an issue when it comes to investing," Lenhoff said.

(Editing by John Stonestreet)


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Youth soccer coach slain in brutal NYC stabbing

Police hope surveillance footage will help solve the murder of a youth soccer coach who was stabbed to death in New York City and had his ear cut off. WNBC's Katherine Creag reports.

By and NBC News staff

Police are searching for a man who stabbed a youth soccer coach and cut off his ear before leaving him to die on a New York City sidewalk near Union Square early Sunday.

Police responded to a call of an assault on West 14th Street at about 4:30 a.m. and discovered 25-year-old Michael Jones lying in a pool of blood with stab wounds to his stomach and neck. His ear had also been cut off, police said.

More on this story from?

?I ran down to the ambulance (down the block) and said, ?You?d better get down there. There?s a guy on the ground with his throat cut,?? passer-by Malachi Mohamed, 39, told the New York Post.


Jones, a native of Liverpool, England, and soccer coach for the Red Bulls Youth Training Programs, was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital. He lived in West Harrison in Westchester County.

?He coached two of my three sons and was just a great guy. He cared about what he did, and was very dedicated,? Mark Fischer, who oversees refs for the Westchester league, told the Post. ?The kids loved him.?

Police released surveillance video of the male suspect believed to have stabbed Jones as they canvassed the neighborhood looking for potential witnesses.?Jones' attacker was described as a man between the ages of 25 and 30 with a dark ponytail.

Also on Ailing Queens woman decides to stay on respirator

The New York Red Bulls issued a statement calling Jones a "fantastic coach who loved soccer."

Police sources said that robbery did not appear to be the motive. The investigation is ongoing.

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Forgotten Fairytales

Forgotten Fairytales

Everybody in your town is a fairytale character, but the evil queen sent all of them including her self to a new world (Earth) here there was no happiness and happy endings.


Game Masters:

This topic is an Out Of Character part of the roleplay, ?Forgotten Fairytales?. Anything posted here will also show up there.

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Forum for completely Out of Character (OOC) discussion, based around whatever is happening In Character (IC). Discuss plans, storylines, and events; Recruit for your roleplaying game, or find a GM for your playergroup.
This is the auto-generated OOC topic for the roleplay "Forgotten Fairytales"

You may edit this first post as you see fit.

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I would love to reserve a Emma or Henry

Lovely day we're having isn't it?

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Count me in as well. I would love to reserve Red and Rumpelstiltskin.

Sometimes your family can be the strangest of all.
Could you kill your best friend?
Dolls have just as much life as people do.
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Member for 1 years

Sure ok, right now there aren't any forms to fill out so you can just make them with a picture and maybe a little description and then just submit it. Thanks guys and Miss_Dreamer you can have them both.

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I've never seen the show... But I will do some research on it.

Meanwhile, may I reserve the Mad Hatter?

Quote the Raven, "Nevermore"

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